WandaVision will soon be upon us, and from the looks of its trailers, the series has taken inspiration from several storylines in Marvel Comics history.
In fact, in an interview in late 2020, star Elizabeth Olsen said that Marvel Studios producer "wanted to merge two different comic series as inspiration" for the Disney+ show. It's still currently unknown which two particular series Olsen was referring to.
Like with much of the MCU’s other projects, we don’t expect to see direct adaptations of these storylines so much as ideas taken from each to make a whole new storyline that will be featured in the show.
Still, it’s fun to take a look at what may have inspired the Disney+ series before it premieres on January 15. So, here’s The Direct's recommended reading list to check out before watching WandaVision, which may offer some hints about what may transpire in the series:
Giant-Sized Avengers #4 and Vision & the Scarlet Witch #1-4 (Bill Mantlo and Rick Leonardi)
This four-issue miniseries released from 1982-1983 and the Avengers special preceding it from 1975 chronicle the beginning of Wanda and Vision’s marriage. While this series is technically no longer canon to Marvel’s most modern storylines, it does seem like WandaVision has drawn at least a little inspiration from these stories, including the pair’s wedding in the Giant-Sized Avengers comic and a Halloween adventure after settling down in the suburbs in the first Vision & the Scarlet Witch issue. And, it serves as a prelude to the second miniseries featuring the duo.
All five of these issues are available on the official Marvel Unlimited subscription app. If you prefer physical media, a paperback version of Vision & the Scarlet Witch: The Saga of Wanda and Vision was released on December 30, 2020. The book will contain all issues of both Vision & the Scarlet Witch and our next list entry, The Vision & the Scarlet Witch, plus Giant-Sized Avengers #4 and West Coast Avengers #2 (more on that comic below).
The Vision & the Scarlet Witch #1-12 (Steve Englehart, Bill Mantlo, Don Heck, and Rick Leonardi)
The Vision & the Scarlet Witch follows the adventures of Wanda and Vision after they retire from the Avengers and try to settle down to build their lives as a married couple. It was originally released from 1985-1986. While the first couple of issues tie in pretty strongly with the West Coast Avengers series, the rest of them focus on Wanda and Vision’s life outside the team.
WandaVision appears to be borrowing quite a bit from this miniseries, from Wanda’s pregnancy to the inclusion of a dinner party, to the prominence of Agatha Harkness, the character Kathryn Hahn is heavily suspected to be playing. There is also yet another Halloween adventure in this one, thus making it seem like a staple of storylines involving these two. It's only natural that the holiday would be featured in WandaVision.
All 12 issues of The Vision & the Scarlet Witch vol. 2 are currently available on the Marvel Unlimited app. A trade paperback containing the complete miniseries - Avengers: Vision & the Scarlet Witch - A Year in the Life - was released on December 29, 2020. This collection is well-worth it if you’re a completionist; not only does it have all 12 issues of The Vision & the Scarlet Witch, but also West Coast Avengers #2, which helps tie the story together even more.
West Coast Avengers #42–45 (John Byrne)
There have been many rumors of Vision being rebuilt in the MCU after his death in Avengers: Infinity War. That movie saw Shuri (unsuccessfully) attempt to salvage most of his personality and memories. It seems that while whatever version of the character we’ll see in WandaVision has a similar relationship with Wanda before his death, he doesn’t seem to remember ever dying. This is a strong clue that we’ll be seeing Wanda deal with a different Vision than the one she knew in the past, and she must do just that in the 1989 West Coast Avengers “Vision Quest” story arc.
Between the finale of The Vision & the Scarlet Witch and this West Coast Avengers storyline, Scarlet Witch and Vision end up rejoining the West Coast Avengers roster. In this four-issue arc, Vision is rebuilt after being dismantled, and the team finds he is no longer the being they knew before. As a result of this, several shocking revelations about the world Wanda thought she knew come to light.
West Coast Avengers (WCA) #42-45 are all currently available on the Marvel Unlimited app and the trade paperback Avengers West Coast: Vision Quest contains issues #42-50 of WCA.
House of M #1-8 (Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel)
One of the biggest events in Marvel Comics history, 2005’s House of M spans dozens of different comic books and storylines, but all of them stem from Scarlet Witch’s loss of control of her reality-altering powers, resulting in the deaths of several Avengers.
Without spoiling too much, this story features several shifts in reality caused by Wanda, which looks to be integral to the story of WandaVision as the different sitcom eras appear to be controlled by her powers. It’s worth noting that the majority of the characters experiencing these sorts of changes in House of M don’t recall any of them occurring; they believe they have always existed in whatever reality they are currently living in. There are hints of this in the WandaVision trailer, particularly the dinner scene and the one in which Vision appears surprised when Kathryn Hahn’s character tells him he is dead.
The complete House of M event is available on Marvel Unlimited, and various trade paperbacks featuring issues from the event (including one with the main eight issues described above) are currently in print as well.
The Vision #1-12 (Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta)
While WandaVision features a seemingly picture-perfect world created by Wanda, 2015’s Vision sees Vision’s version of a heavenly home. In an attempt to become more “human,” Vision creates an android wife and two teenaged children and moves to the suburbs. But, of course, trouble soon follows and it becomes apparent that “normal” life may not be as simple as literally building your perfect family.
With Wanda’s sitcom-esque “perfect life” looking to be on the brink of spiraling out of control in WandaVision, it seems as though the story arc of the series could follow a similar trajectory to that of Vision, with Wanda’s attempts to keep things the way she wants and under her control making things worse in the long run, with possibly grave consequences.
All 12 issues of Vision are available on the Marvel Unlimited app as well as in trade paperback form in Vision: The Complete Collection.